Church Maintenance

Get Ready to Reopen Your Church Building with a Summer Church Maintenance Checklist

Summer has arrived and parts of the economy are starting to reopen as well, which means many states are allowing church services to resume. While church leaders focus on what needs to be done inside their church building to prepare for social distancing requirements and the return of worshippers, it’s also important not to lose sight of church maintenance to the exterior of your building. Here are some checklists to make sure HVAC and roofs are well-maintained as we enter the summer months.

Church Maintenance of Your HVAC System

Many churches haven’t had a worship service since it was still cold enough to need heat. Now summer is here, and your HVAC system needs to be ready. Here’s a thorough checklist of items to address in preparing your church building cooling system for summer worship. While you might need to involve professionals in some of these tasks, you probably have knowledgeable individuals in your church community who can handle most of the items on this list.

  • Clean or replace all filters. We’ve noted elsewhere that it’s a good idea to keep a maintenance log where filter numbers and their cleaning/replacement schedule can be tracked.
  • Clean evaporator and condenser coils.
  • Flush out drain lines and clear out any clogs so that water doesn’t back up into your church building.
  • Remove any water from HVAC drain pans so they don’t overflow.
  • Make sure the refrigerant is still charged and that there are no leaks.
  • Check all pulleys and belts and replace anything that’s worn out, or close to it.
  • Check the electrical system and make sure no connections have come loose.
  • Inspect the fan motor and lubricate the moving parts and bearings.
  • Check all blowers and fan blades to make sure they’re turning and supporting proper airflow.
  • Make sure that the HVAC cabinet is sealed and clean, and that the door closes or locks securely.
  • Check for debris around the outdoor portion of your HVAC unit.
  • Take a look at the airflow ducts and remove any mold, dust, or debris. If you find debris, figure out where it came from and patch that hole or opening.
  • Run the cooling system and check the rooms of your church building to make sure humidity levels aren’t too high.
  • Change the batteries and check the schedule on your various thermostats and other controls to make sure you’ve still got the church building cooling down at the right times, and the temperature set a bit higher when the building is empty, so as to conserve energy.

Thoroughly Inspect the Roof of Your Church Building

One other part of your church building that needs attention in the summer is your roof. While you might think things are okay because there’s no snow and ice, winter could have left a toll, and summer storms can still loosen fasteners and leave debris on your roof and in your gutters. Here’s what to check to make certain your church building roof is well-maintained.

  • Look at all flashing and surface membrane to make sure the caulk is not cracked and that there are no stains from rust.
  • Check shingles to make sure they are all in good shape and none have come loose or blown off.
  • Inspect the rubber boots around vent pipes for cracks or wear, and make sure vents are clear and undamaged.
  • Check that your chimney caps are still in place and intact.
  • Ignore black algae stains, but any green moss or lichen could indicate that there could be decay beneath the surface of your roof.
  • Clean out gutters and make sure all drainpipes are flowing freely.
  • If you have HVAC units on your roof check to see that the unit doors are fastened tight after the HVAC maintenance is completed. Also check to make sure any coil cleaner is completely washed off the roof.

Whether churches are allowed to reopen in your area now or not, church maintenance shouldn’t be delayed. Take good care of your church building and it will be ready for you when worshippers are allowed to return. To learn more about church building best practices for all church leaders, sign up today for our upcoming free i3 webinars.

2020-07-07T20:49:49+00:00 July 7th, 2020|Church Building, Church Maintenance|

Spring Church Building Maintenance in a COVID-19 Impacted World

Normally, we’d remind you about the importance of spring maintenance at this time of year. This year, with COVID-19 impacting our nation and the world, church maintenance is taking on additional meaning and necessity.

We know that many churches are temporarily closing down or canceling services as a precaution against spreading the virus and in keeping with government guidance. While this is challenging for your church community, it also provides you with an excellent opportunity to thoroughly address spring maintenance. Now might be the best time to clean, repair, check, and maintain your church building.

Church Safety and CDC Cleaning Recommendations

The Center for Disease Control has a thorough webpage that details  recommendations for environmental cleaning and disinfection to prevent the spread of any virus. When doing so, it’s important to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfection. Cleaning removes dirt and germs, but does not kill the germs. Only disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. Therefore, both cleaning and disinfecting, in that order, are important at all times, but especially during this time of COVID-19.

All surfaces that people touch should be both cleaned (using a detergent or soap and water) and then disinfected on a regular basis. High-touch surfaces in your church building include counters, tabletops, desks, chairs, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, HVAC interfaces, audio-visual control modules, tablets, etc.

For disinfection, the CDC recommends using diluted household bleach solutions (4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water), alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and/or most common EPA-registered household disinfectants. A list of available products that the Environmental Protection Agency deems effective in killing viruses such as COVID-19 can be found here.

All cleaning and disinfecting solutions should be chosen with the surface in mind. For example, bleach may be effective on bathroom counters, but it can damage wood and other surfaces. Always read product labels carefully, use gloves, and ensure proper ventilation during cleaning and disinfecting. Wash your hands once you have removed and disposed of gloves.

Regular Spring Maintenance for Your Church Building

In addition to cleaning and disinfection, given the current circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to address the regular spring maintenance needs of your church building. We have checklists that include outdoor and indoor elements of your church building—everything from screens to patios, light bulbs to gutters—from attics to basements. We also feature suggestions for painting and refinishing, organizing and decluttering, and also keeping your roof and gutters clean and clear of debris.

Do You Need Spring Maintenance Help for Your Church Building?

Of course, all this spring cleaning and maintenance can feel overwhelming. Some of it may also be beyond the capacity of your staff and/or cadre of volunteers. Sometimes, especially with roof or HVAC maintenance, it’s a good idea to call in the professionals. Here at The McKnight Group, we’re glad to help out. Learn about the church building maintenance services we offer here.

We also offer our church building expertise, free of charge, through our i3 webinars. To learn more and register for our upcoming free webinars, click here.

2020-03-24T20:25:02+00:00 March 24th, 2020|Church Building, Church Maintenance|

Here’s Your Annual Spring Church Maintenance Reminder

Ready or not, spring is arriving. Whether it seems the Mother Nature is really cooperating or not, it’s time for spring church maintenance. Previously, we posted a general spring maintenance checklist that covers yard, landscaping, and parking lot maintenance in addition to the church building maintenance itself. Now, we’re expanding on the idea, adding more items to the checklist and suggesting that church cleaning and maintenance be made a communal affair by scheduling a spring-cleaning party.

Deep Cleaning as Part of Church Maintenance

One key to effective church maintenance is periodic deep cleaning. Your church building is a major investment and a good cleaning will help it stay in top shape and full functional order. A great way to ensure a good spring cleaning is to organize a volunteer spring cleaning day, weekend, or series of Saturdays depending on what will work best for your community.

While not all the items on these checklists will apply to your church building, they will be good inspiration for areas to look after. Make certain beforehand that you have enough supplies on hand for your volunteers. If you have a church leader who’s a particularly good organizer, she or he can send out lists of needed tools and invite volunteers to respond with what items they can bring. This will help keep the spring-cleaning costs to a minimum, which is always good stewardship.

Outdoor and Overall Cleaning Checklist

  • Reserve a power washer ahead of time
  • Clean and power wash patios and outdoor gathering places
  • Clean and repair windows and screens
  • Power wash the church building siding
  • Clean out gutters.
  • Check roof for debris that may have damaged flashings, plumbing vents, HVAC equipment during winter storms.
  • Check outside lights and replace burnt-out bulbs with high-efficiency, outdoor bulbs

Attic and Basement Cleaning Checklist

  • Check basement areas for damp floors or walls
  • Check downspouts to make sure they have not pulled away from the drains after the winter or becomes clogged with debris.
  • Clean and organize attic and basement storage spaces, making sure that no fire hazards have developed

Painting, Staining, and/or Refinishing Checklist

  • Check caulked joints. Remove and replace caulking that has pulled away for the building
  • Obtain paints, stains, brushes, tarps, covers, ladders, rollers, and handles ahead of time
  • Stain or paint decks, porches, and gathering areas
  • Paint, clean, and organize any garages and storage units
  • Paint or stain all doors and exposed woodwork
  • Paint the church building siding as needed

Indoor Cleaning Checklist

  • Obtain the following supplies and tools: bathroom cleaners, kitchen cleaners, rags, sponges, rubber gloves, wood polishers, glass cleaners, wall-cleaning sponges, wall erasers, buckets, large garbage bags, brooms, dust pans, handheld and full-sized vacuums, kitchen shelf lining, and ladders
  • Deep-clean restrooms
  • Dust light fixtures and remove bugs
  • Clean and polish church pews or clean and vacuum chairs
  • Wipe down walls
  • Clean and straighten any wall hangings
  • Sanitize light switches, switch plates, and door handles (consider making this a more regular task during cold and flu seasons)
  • Sanitize and organize nursery rooms and children’s areas
  • Clean and organize offices and classrooms
  • Wash windows and storm windows; clean blinds and curtains
  • Clean furniture and repair where needed
  • Remove clutter and clean all public areas
  • Vacuum and/or scrub or mop floors

Spring cleaning can be a lot of work, but good fellowship and calling it a party helps the work go faster and seem more like fun. Organize a spring-cleaning event to preserve the life of your church building. If you’re looking for more tips and pointers on good stewardship of your church building and more, sign up for our upcoming free i3 webinars.

2019-03-26T16:35:48+00:00 March 26th, 2019|Church Building, Church Maintenance|

Our Fall Church Maintenance Checklist: Second Edition

Fall is here, and in much of the country, you can tell just by looking at the leaves on the trees. While those leaves are gorgeous, they can also cause problems for the roof and gutter systems of your church building. In our post, Fall Church Building Maintenance Checklist, we covered some important maintenance needs including roofs and gutters. Here are some more items to add to the list as you get your church building ready for fall, and yes, the winter months that follow it.

Dust both supply and return air grilles. Last time we talked about HVAC filters, but we didn’t discuss grilles. Dusty vents decrease efficiency, which leads to higher church building energy costs. They can also reduce your furnace or HVAC system’s lifecycle.

Get the freon level checked in your HVAC system. The freon level should remain constant, so if it’s low, there may be a leak. By having freon levels checked in the fall, there’s plenty of time to address any problems before you need to turn on the air conditioning again in the spring.

Watch for window condensation. If the windows in your church building are fogging up, your HVAC humidity setting could need adjustment.

Check plumbing fixtures. While church goers might bring clogs to your attention right away, they don’t tend to bother when it’s just a slow drain. However, slow drains can lead to clogs—which can especially be a problem when the holidays arrive and both restroom and kitchen usage spikes. By tending to your drains now, you prevent future aggravation.

Protect outdoor plumbing from freezing weather. As the weather gets colder, you should disconnect hoses from hose bibs when they’re no longer needed. Cover hose bibs for the winter. Insulate any exposed pipes—to prevent freezing, including in the attic or crawl spaces of your church building.

Replace burned-out bulbs in light fixtures. Fall and winter bring more hours of darkness, meaning that light fixtures will get more use, especially outdoors. When possible, retrofit with replacement LED bulbs, which are much more efficient. If you need to rent a lift or other special equipment to replace some bulbs, consider replacing all of them at the same time, to reduce future rental costs.

Test all smoke alarms and any carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries, including battery backups for hardwired devices. Remember that some smoke alarms could be located inside your duct work. For hard-to-reach places, plan this church maintenance at the same time as your various light bulb replacements.

Check the dates on all fire extinguishers. Replace or recharge any expired fire extinguishers.

Check all exit signs. Are those signs still shining brightly? If you have an older church building, this might be a good time to review all signage and egress lighting. Is it time to upgrade any fixtures or lighting? Pay special attention to long, winding, and/or dead-end corridors.

Check your first aid kits. What’s been used and needs replacing? Which items have expired? If your first aid kits are older, check online to see what newer kits include and consider expanding or upgrading your older boxes.

Now that you’ve expanded your Fall Church Maintenance Checklist with these items, we have one more suggestion for your to-do list. Our final free i3 webinar for 2018 will take place on Thursday, October 18. The topic is “Principles for a Successful Church Building Project” and we suggest you register today. We are working on our 2019 lineup of free webinars now, so watch this space for our announcement.

2018-10-09T16:07:02+00:00 October 9th, 2018|Church Building, Church Maintenance|

Church Maintenance Needs During Spring

Most of the time, church leaders associate spring with Easter and all the special activities that come with celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. As church building experts, however, we know spring also brings the need for church maintenance.

With the snow melting and leaves budding, it’s easy to forget that every church property needs attention year-round. Therefore, we want to remind you about various maintenance items to assist you in taking good care of your church and surrounding property.

Begin with Church Building and Roof Maintenance

We’ve already posted an article with suggestions for regular maintenance of your building and roof. Given the serious damage that water intrusion can cause to a church building, we suggest you begin by reviewing the facts and checklists found in that earlier post before moving on to the information below.

Yard Maintenance

Once winter is past, you will often find it has left damage behind. As spring brings new growth, plants and landscaping will need your attention—and the nicer weather can make this church maintenance feel like a pleasure. Here is a list of yard items that might need your attention:

  • Clean and trim flower beds. Watch for bulbs emerging and place new ones where bare spots become obvious. Once perennial plants have started to sprout new leaves, remove plants that did not survive the winter. Plant new annuals as needed.
  • Trim trees and bushes. Trimming encourages new growth, so don’t do this until the danger of frost has passed.
  • Clean benches and other outdoor seating areas and remove any trash. Also, now is a good time to re-varnish your wooden benches.
  • Check any watering systems for leaks and make sure all sprinklers and drip systems are fully operational.
  • Run a complete safety check on all children’s playground equipment.
  • Add mulch as needed.
  • Begin your weed-spraying regimen.

Parking Lot Maintenance

Parking lots take a lot of abuse during the winter months. Here are some ways to restore your parking lots and preserve them from further deterioration:

  • Survey paved parking lots and fill in any potholes, cracks or depressions more than 1/4 inch deep. Remove debris such as rocks, gravel, mud or sand. Note where debris is coming from and, when possible, use landscaping material to block further intrusions.
  • Rake gravel parking lots, if any, and re-level them. Add additional gravel as needed to keep a firm base.
  • Check tire stops for deterioration, which can create rubble and tripping hazards. Replace deteriorating tire stops and repaint all tire stops in a contrasting color. Make sure to anchor all stops with fully inserted steel reinforcing rods. Keep at least three feet between tire stops.
  • Inspect curbing and repair any pitted, crumbling or settling portions. Repaint curbing around building entrances with a contrasting color to avoid tripping.
  • Repaint handicap signs on pavement and curb cutouts to ensure handicap access points are obvious. Check for any damage in handicap parking signs.
  • Clear parking lot drains and check that grates are firmly and safely installed.

General Church Maintenance

There are many smaller church building items that will need your attention as well. Here is a general church maintenance checklist:

  • Service HVAC systems for spring and summer use. This includes changing furnace filters, checking water lines, lubing fan bearings and moving parts, resetting thermostats and replacing batteries (if you didn’t do that in the fall).
  • Oil door hinges and any automatic opening/closing devices.
  • Check pew braces and supports and tighten or replace as needed.
  • Replace smoke detector batteries if this was not done in the fall.
  • Check for any carpeting snags or other tripping hazards.
  • Clean all indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures and replace burned-out bulbs.

Find Out More

Your church building, and property is a big investment. Proper care will extend its life and allow you to focus on your church vision rather than addressing emergencies.

If you have any questions about maintaining your church building, contact us today. Also, you can learn more about church design and building by visiting our home page and registering for our free i3 webinars.

2018-03-26T14:59:33+00:00 March 20th, 2018|Church Building, Church Maintenance|

Keep Your Church Building Interior Design Looking Like New with Proper Maintenance

Recently, we posted a two-part series on creating a successful interior design process for churches. Jennifer Snider, The McKnight Group’s interior designer, guided you through six important steps for a church building interior design program. (To read Part 1, click here; to read Part 2, click here.)

In this post, she adds a seventh step, which comes after the design and implementation process. It’s the best way to protect your significant investment in a church remodeling project or brand-new building.

Step 7: Invest in the Maintenance of Your New Interior

This seventh step is the key to good stewardship of your church building: maintenance of your new interior.

All those finishes, furnishings, and flooring will be subject to a lot of feet and fingers over the months and years ahead. Spills will happen, dirt will accumulate, shine will tarnish, scuffs will appear.

Which is why it’s essential to set up a maintenance plan as you are completing your church remodeling project or inaugurating your new church building. Good habits are best set at the beginning, and regular cleaning is critical to keeping your interior design looking new and fresh for as long as possible.

Spread the Word About Church Building Maintenance

One of the best ways to establish good habits is to spread the word about them. When you’re thinking about protecting your interior design investment, there are two important messages you want to spread.

First, you tell everyone in your church family that it’s OK—and actually necessary—to speak up about spills. The longer a spill stays on carpeting or seating fabric, the deeper it penetrates into the fibers and the harder it will be to clean. “Stain-resistant” doesn’t mean “stain-impervious.” Let everyone know it’s not wrong to spill (these will happen), it’s just wrong not to say something when it happens.

The second way to spread the word involves your church building maintenance crew. Whether they are a team of dedicated volunteers or part of your paid staff, your maintenance team needs to know what you have learned about your various fabrics, finishes, and flooring during the interior design process.

All information about cleaning and other maintenance needs to be passed on from your interior design team to your maintenance team, so they can benefit from everything you have learned.

Maintaining Your New Interior Is Good Stewardship

Your church building interior design forms a critical part of your church vision. To outside eyes it may not always be obvious that you’ve invested in maintaining your church facility, but it will certainly be obvious if you neglect to maintain it. Investing time and energy in maintaining your new interior design is also good stewardship of the financial contributions that paid for those new furnishings, finishes, and flooring.

We hope this series of steps has been helpful as you think about the interior of your own church building. For other helpful church building and remodeling tips, take advantage of our i3 webinars. Simply visit our website and sign up—they’re all free.

2017-09-26T14:50:30+00:00 September 26th, 2017|Church Maintenance, Interior Design|

Church Maintenance Checklist: The Winter Edition

wintryIn many parts of the country, the weather outside is frightful—or soon will be! Even though your energy is going into Advent before Christmas, it’s important to do more than just deck the halls. Church “halls” don’t just need decor, they need preventative maintenance before winter sets in. So, here’s a list (and we’ve checked it twice): not of gifts, but of advice, to make sure your church is ready for winter.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

We suggest you begin at the top, with your church building roof. It really can’t be stressed enough—after all, snow can get very heavy, and when it melts, it flows anywhere that isn’t carefully sealed. Your roof is your shield against winter damage in the rest of the church. In addition to our roof maintenance checklist, there are other parts of your church building that need winterizing attention. Thus, our church maintenance checklist begins with the following:

  • Check outer walls for cracks or spaces. Insulate and caulk them to prevent heat loss. Remember that you’re not just keeping heat in; you’re keeping chilly rodents outdoors where they belong.
  • Inspect windows and doors to see if they need new weather stripping or caulking to fill small holes.
  • Drain and store hoses, winterize faucets and shut down your irrigation system for winter.
  • Winterize your cooling system, especially if you need to drain your cooling tower. You don’t want any of that water to freeze and burst a line.
  • Change the air filters in your HVAC system.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Winter weather doesn’t just bring trouble for your roof. Sidewalks, parking lots and indoor areas can benefit from preventative maintenance as well.

  • Repair cracks in sidewalks and parking lots. This isn’t just about hidden trip hazards during snowfall. If water gets underneath, it can wear away the ground supporting those sidewalks and paved areas, creating uneven surfaces, cracks and potholes.
  • Check all handrails to make sure they are sturdy and well-fastened.
  • Purchase appropriate de-icing materials that will do the job without harming your landscaping—or your indoor flooring, since everyone who walks in will bring some of that de-icer with them on their shoes. While salt may be inexpensive, it’s corrosive to some flooring materials. Good stewardship would suggest costlier, but safer, alternatives.
  • Install non-skid mats both inside and outside all exterior doors to limit the snow, slush and chemicals coming in on everyone’s shoes. Get mats that are big enough to allow someone to take three steps on each one.

Keep the Fire from Slowly Dying

Finally, it’s important to keep your church building warm, even throughout the week when there aren’t many people there. Program your thermostat—or install a programmable one that will allow you to make sure the temperature will never fall low enough for pipes to freeze (we recommend not letting the temperature drop below 55 degrees).

Consider installing a backup power system in case of outages. Not only will it keep your furnace running; it will help prevent other power-related issues from occurring. While we’re on the topic, your furnace needs a thorough annual once-over. You might want to bring in a professional to handle the inspection, especially if you have a volunteer church maintenance crew.

Key furnace inspection tips:

  • Is there carbon build-up in the flues?
  • Are flames burning cleanly?
  • Are there any cracks in the heat exchangers?
  • Are water pressure gauges correctly calibrated?
  • Do expansion tanks have proper air cushioning? Are they flooded?
  • Make sure burners are clean
  • Brush out any tubes

Church Maintenance Questions? Ask Mark!

We hope you find this winter maintenance checklist helpful. If you have additional questions, you can call Mark Hall, our maintenance coordinator, at 614-875-1689. And if you want more good tips on church maintenance, building and design, be sure to sign up for our 2017 free i3 webinar series—registration is open! Until then, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2016-12-13T12:58:20+00:00 December 13th, 2016|Church Building, Church Maintenance, Uncategorized|

For Want of a Nail: Church Roof Winter Maintenance

roof-iceDo you know this centuries-old proverb? Perhaps you heard it in school:

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost,
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost,
For want of a horse, the rider was lost,
For want of a rider, the message was lost,
For want of a message, the battle was lost,
For want of a battle, the war was lost,
For want of a war, the kingdom was lost,
All for the want of a nail.

What does this old proverb and church maintenance have in common? Well, if you don’t keep an eye on every part of your church building, you could end up with much bigger problems than a simple missing nail or loose screw. In this post, we will focus on the roof of your church building.

Keeping Your Church Roof in Tip-Top Shape

We’re thinking about roofs because winter is coming—and, in fact, some areas of the country have already seen their first snowstorm. Rain, snow and ice in freezing conditions can increase damage risks to your church’s roof. Since it’s best to do a roof inspection before snow or ice has accumulated and you can see your entire roof, we suggest that your church has someone get up there for that inspection as soon as possible.

Church Maintenance Checklist for Your Roof

Here is what we suggest you should look for when you’re up there (carefully!) scoping it out:

  • Roof fasteners: Are they tight? Is there good compression?
  • Metal panels and curbs: Are there any punctures or rust?
  • HVAC condensation lines: any leaks or dampness?
  • Flashings on roof penetration points: any cracks or separation?
  • Gutters and downspouts: Are they clean? Is anything blocking flow (and yes, bringing up a hose to run a test is a great idea!)?
  • Screws and nails: Are any missing or loose?

When to Bring in the Professionals

If you find loose or missing screws or nails, then by all means take care of that yourself. But if your inspection reveals something bigger has happened—that flashing has cracked and split or panels are rusting—then it’s probably a good idea to bring in a professional to assess the situation. You don’t want to cover up a problem that’s already moved below the surface of the roof itself. If you re-seal the top and trap an existing problem inside your roof, you could be inviting a bigger (and costlier) crisis down the road.

Good Church Building Stewardship

We’ve talked in the past about how strongly we recommend an annual roof inspection. This could actually be required if your roof is relatively new and still under warranty. Since so many parts of your roof can begin to deteriorate long before you see any issues at ground level, regular roof inspection and repair is part and parcel of good stewardship.

You’ll thank yourself for being proactive later—especially when you catch a minor problem and can correct it easily and economically.

If you think there could be an issue, feel free to contact Mark Hall, our trained maintenance coordinator, and have him take a good look at it for you. He is trained on various maintenance issues and can provide a roof evaluation and an inspection estimate. To learn more, contact him today at 614-875-1689.

And of course, since your church maintenance program should involve much more than the roof, we suggest you sign up for our 2017 free i3 webinar series, which will provide many more useful church building and maintenance tips. Next year’s topics will be announced shortly!

2016-12-06T11:32:40+00:00 December 6th, 2016|Church Building, Church Maintenance, Uncategorized|

Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Church Building HVAC and More

Hot-Cold
Summer heat has blanketed most of the country in warm temperatures and higher humidity. If you’re one of the luckier people, perhaps you’ve escaped to cooler mountains or breezier seashores—or are making plans to do so in the next few weeks. But your church building isn’t going anywhere, and summer maintenance can’t take a vacation. Members and guests will be less likely to return to your church for worship if the air conditioning system isn’t working well. Is your HVAC system up to the challenge?

Church Building Maintenance

Mark Hall, our staff warranty coordinator, posted some great tips on preventive maintenance last year to keep your church building in tip-top shape. With summer heat all around us, we thought we’d give you a refresher on HVAC maintenance, along with some additional tips for keeping your church building comfortable in every season.

Checking on Your HVAC System

If you haven’t done so this year, it’s time to check all the belts and filters in your HVAC unit. We’ve suggested before that a maintenance log is a good idea, especially if maintenance of your church building is handled by a cadre of busy volunteers who might not always remember to tell each other what they’ve done.

The log should indicate what types of filters are being used (including part numbers, to make it easy to get the right filter the first time) and how often they have to be cleaned or replaced.

You will also want to check the condensate lines for cracks and leakage. Belts should be checked for cracks, and ducts should be checked for leakage, which wastes energy.

Outdoor condensing units should be cleaned as well, since dust and dirt can block airflow, making your entire system work harder and less efficiently. Also, don’t forget to calibrate your thermostats to make sure they are functioning correctly.

An Energy Audit Is Good Stewardship

Especially if you have made changes to your church building—or are considering an expansion or renovation—it’s a good idea to do an energy audit. Reviewing your church building’s HVAC system will help ensure it is large enough to handle the building you’re trying to cool.

If an HVAC unit is too small, it will work overtime, shortening the life of the system. On the other hand, if it’s too large, it can waste energy.

Clear Your Roof for Summer, Too

We’re used to thinking about the importance of clearing fall leaves off church roofs to prevent drains and downspouts from getting clogged with winter snow and ice, but clogging happens in summer, too, with the heavy summer downpours that can blow through.

FastenersWhile you’re up there, check to make sure you haven’t got any new cracks or gaps in the flashings.  If you have a metal roof it’s time to check the fasteners on the flashings (see picture).  Over time they can become lose or even back themselves out—It is also a good idea to inspect your roof after a major summer storm to catch any new problems before they become catastrophic.

More Resources for You

We hope you find these summer maintenance reminders helpful. We also hope that you’ll sign up—if you haven’t already—for our free i3 webinar series, where we share great ideas on church design and other tips for your church building. Simply visit our website to sign up.

 

2016-07-13T14:51:31+00:00 July 13th, 2016|Church Building, Church Maintenance, Uncategorized|

Fall Church Building Maintenance Checklist

church-building-maintenance-fallFall is here. The weather is getting cooler, and our energies are shifting from summer fun to battening down the hatches before winter sets in.

Just as it’s a good time to check your furnace at home, it’s also a good time to take care of your church maintenance needs. Here are some useful tips that will help you prepare your church building for the colder months ahead.

Lower the thermostat. For every degree you reduce the temperature in your church, your utility bill will go down by an average of one percent. People tend to wear more clothing in the winter, so a degree or two will likely not be noticed.  Invest in a programmable thermostat and let it automatically set back during unoccupied hours.

Change those HVAC filters. Regular filter changes allow your furnace (and air conditioner) to operate more efficiently. It’s also a good time to make sure your furnace is in good working order.

Invest in the right doorway entry mats. Winter means a lot more dirt, mud, snow, and ice come into your building on peoples’ shoes. Install mats that don’t collapse under the pressure of all those feet and that safely store the dirt and moisture for safe and easy removal.

Inspect the caulking on all your church’s windows and doors, and the weather stripping on the door frames. Seal any place that would allow warm air to escape or cold air to seep in.

Clean gutters and downspouts—both now, and after all the leaves have fallen. Clean off any debris on the roof and trim trees that overhang your church building.

Seal any cracks in your walkways and parking lots. This prevents water from entering and freezing, which can widen cracks, cause areas to sink, and generally create tripping hazards.

Inspect your Shingle roof. Check for loose roofing shingles and make sure there are no cracks at any intersections in the flashing, chimneys, and plumbing vents. If your roof has a low slope, you’ll want to check it for leaves and other debris every week this fall.

Inspect your Metal roof. Check for loose fasteners and make sure the flashings such as plumbing vent flashings are in good shape. If your roof has a low slope, you’ll want to check it for leaves and other debris this fall.  Be sure not to use a sealant on loose fasteners or trim but replace the fastener all together if you cannot get it tight.

Check the attic. If your church building has an attic, make sure the insulation is properly thick and evenly distributed. If animals have gotten into the attic they might expose pipes that are in the ceiling which could lead to a frozen pipe this winter.

Learn more ways to help your church building

The colder weather is bringing people home from vacation, back to school, and indoors once again. Use this handy maintenance checklist to make sure your church building is warm, dry, safe, and ready for the influx of people it will be seeing.

For more church maintenance and improvement tips, visit our website today. There you can sign up for our i3 webinar series. Choose whatever webinars you wish—they’re free for the watching.

2015-10-07T08:46:17+00:00 October 7th, 2015|Church Building, Church Maintenance, Uncategorized|